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Shrinking Violet


Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 16/08/2012 at 19:08

Hmmmm - reckon the heatwave is likely to pass us by.  Cool and rainy today - and when it's not actually raining, then it's drizzling!  We may get something better for the weekend - but then again, we probably won't.  Seems we're on the boundary of the weather front.  I won't lay a bet as to which side we end up!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 15/08/2012 at 22:18

Seems like we sent our joined-up showers up country, since by the afternoon, the sun was out her in the SW, though everything was soggy.  Had to remember to get out and water pots and troughs - so easy to forget that they don't benefit from the rain, since the foliage prevents the water getting where it's needed!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 15/08/2012 at 11:45

"Heavy showers" they said.  Joined up showers = heavy rain .  I think I've almost forgotten what summer is like - but even when it's overcast it's  warm, so we have to take comfort where we can!

DAMSONS

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 20:56

Wisehedgecrone - exact quantities are not strictly necessary, but the principle is 1lb damsons (or sloes), 6 oz sugar and enough gin to top up and cover the fruit.  (cheap supermarket gin, own brand, is ideal).

Normally you would prick the skins, traditionally with a darning needle which is, tbh, arduous, but a fork with sharp tines is fine.  If, however, the fruit has been frozen, the skins may have split and this process won't be necessary.  But the puncturing of the skins allows the full flavour of the fruit to be extracted, and the colour of the skins to colour the gin.

Put the prepared fruit and the sugar in a wide-necked jar and top up with gin to cover the fruit.  keep in a cool dark place, and gently shake the jar each day for a couple of weeks to ensure all the sugar is dissolved.  Leave for three months (longer if you can manage it!) and strain into clean bottles.  (I use wine vinegar bottles with the labels soaked off, of course - they're a good size and, if you're feeling generous, you can give them as Christmas presents).

Good luck!

 

 

DAMSONS

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 00:02

Well - it's good to learn something new every day!  I had always been led to believe that damsons were not sweet when eaten raw, and had to be cooked/processed to be palatable!  The only ones I've ever come across met this description - but I suppose I ought to have known that my near-namesake was sweet

DAMSONS

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 21:37

Make the most of the bonus crop.  Chutney, jam, pies etc would be lovely.  (But the gin is better  hic!)

 

DAMSONS

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 21:20

Damson gin is delicious, and doesn't taste like gin at all.  I have some still from last year, and it is lovely as a liqueur or with soda water (or lemonade if you prefer something sweet) and lots of ice - very refreshing in hot weather!

If the fruit that you have tasted is sweet, then I doubt that they are damsons which are quite unplatable raw.  Perhaps they are a variety of a small plum - but could still be treated in the same way.  If the fruit is soft, btw, it would be easy to remove the stones using a cherry stoner. 

Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 21:14

Bordeaux Mix can be effective - it depends on whether or not you want to use it.  On the plus side, it is accepted, I believe, by the soil association as being organic.  But it's still a mix of copper etc that you may prefer to avoid.

Personally, I have used it successfully in the past.  At the first sign of blight, I cut out all affected parts, sprayed with Bordeaux and made sure that all the fruit that was subsequently harvested was well washed. 

It is called Bordeaux mixture btw because it was first used in the vineyards on Bordeaux.  The blue colour was also designed to deter casual grape pickers from stealing the ripening grapes.  (Or so I read somewhere - could just be an old wives' tale of course )

 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 08/08/2012 at 22:18

The clouds were so low this morning they were only just above the height of the telegraph poles;  it looked more like November than August - although warmer.  The air was full of drizzle, and it was thoroughly unpleasant.  Gradually it cleared, and late afternoon, the sun actually made an appearance!  And it may be there tomorrow, as well!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 07/08/2012 at 21:48

Rain all day - and still drizzly.  Good for the crunchies and the slimies - bad for the plants when their leaves are munched.  Supposed to turn warmer, sunnier and drier tomorrow and Thursday.  Fingers crossed!

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